A Birthday Tribute to My Mama

I had planned on writing a Mother’s Day post prior to my one month sabbatical this past spring and am now getting to it as we near my mama’s birthday here in November. Better late than never!

My mama is my very best friend and closest sister in Christ. Every Sunday morning she phones at precisely 10:30 a.m. for our weekly visit and chat. I can’t begin to relate how much her love means to me, but I humbly will attempt to as I blunder my way through this seemingly inadequate post.

“Mama”, as I call her, was the oldest of four girls with a single mom who reared them up in the age when being a single mom was shunned and frowned upon.

When my mama was a little over one year old she suffered a high fever that left her with a rare case of cerebral palsy. So, my grandmother had four small girls to bring up by herself with a handicap to try to figure out and understand which road of proper care was best.

Doctors assured my grandmother they knew what was best and convinced her to put my mama in an institution. (In those days, group homes and in-home care didn’t exist.)

While at the institution my mama was put into a padded room with no books or toys and left alone in seclusion. When grandma discovered this tragedy she wanted to pull Mama out of that dreadful facility but it wasn’t so easy to be done. Amazingly she ended up kidnapping my mama out of that horrible place and never looked back!! How she did this, I don’t know, but I do know she had help orchestrating and carrying out this desperate plan of getting back her precious little girl.

My mama (left) and her sister in the mid-1950s.

My mama was a few years old by now and had to relearn talking since the months of seclusion ripped away her ability to verbally communicate. She did very well and went on to becoming a well educated student and staple in her family of five. Her mom and sisters loved their “Mel” and she enjoyed a happy adolescence and many fun memories growing up.

Fast forward to her college years where at San Francisco State University she met my dad, the handsome, funny, Hispanic guy who won her heart and led her to Christ. In the late 60s they married and in the 70s had my brother, a rainbow baby, which is a baby after a miscarriage. Four years after suffering another miscarriage, they had me, another rainbow baby.

Mama at the Philadelphia zoo, feeding the animals.

Mama told me I was always a fighter since 4 months into her pregnancy with me she started bleeding. Her doctor told her, “If you want to keep this pregnancy then you need to rest!” So rest she did! “You hung in there” she later told me…..lol, I still am!

Mama would stay on the sofa all day and then fix dinner for my dad when he got home. How she managed with a four year old boy is beyond me but I see God’s hand in every part of her life as I still do now.

Mama is a trooper and a fighter and one tough cookie!! She is such a powerful example of what it means to persevere in trials. She never complains and is always more interested in others’ lives than she is in going on about herself. She lives in a lot of pain due to over 70 years of cerebral palsy and presently is battling adrenal fatigue otherwise known as chronic fatigue syndrome. Yet, she continues to minister to me and other ladies while enduring these crosses and faithfully speaks the truth in love from God’s word.

Nine years ago. My parents with me holding my youngest.

For years my mama led the women’s bible study at her church and was a prayer partner to the pastor’s wife. She knows how to pray and I believe it’s her prayers that have kept me alive to this day. Her example of godliness has had a powerful impact on everyone she meets and she is loved by many.

I’m so thankful and blessed to have you in my life dear Mama and I love you beyond what these feeble words can express. Happy birthday to you and thank you for your love and for being the amazing woman and mother that you are!

Much love,

Your Vivie😚🤗🍁🍂

The gang taken in 2018. Mama is in front with her two sisters behind her, then me and my four kids.

The Word On Monday: Good Shepherd ðŸ

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

John 10:11

This verse my daughter and I especially wanted to share today following Easter Sunday.

The empty tomb at Easter gives my soul so much joy to focus on how He faithfully carried out His mission of redemption for His people.

I feel so profoundly and completely humbled by the fact that Jesus gave HIS LIFE for me. Me. A sinner. Broken. Yet He loved me so much to die in my place so I can live.

The joyful remembrance of the empty tomb highlights the awesome power of God over death and the assurance of eternal life for those who love God.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Were you able to attend church, or see family? The Holy Spirit reminded me of the joyful hymn AN CAN IT BE when I woke up yesterday. I hadn’t sung it in years but remember singing it with my family as a child. The words, “amazing love, how can it be, that thou my God shouldst die for me?” echoed in my mind as I watched the sun come up through the window!! I hope you have a moment to listen.

Love always,

Viv 🤗

My four, all spiffed up for church

Easter Brings Hope

When I gaze out my dining room window, filling my eyes with the newness of spring, I feel hope. Each tiny flower delicate and quiet in it’s own beauty, fashioned by God’s careful eye. Each bird calling to it’s mate echoing songs of joy as the light shines anew. Each bunny hopping along, finding its way out of the warm burrow ready to explore. Each time my daughter, long haired and bright eyed finds a token of God’s creation to share in awe at it’s beauty. These gifts of hope, fresh and new as each day, easy to be taken for granted or overlooked, give so much hope. One day, I too will rise with my Savior, receiving a new, glorified body, nothing broken or amiss. I will be able to sing songs of praises unto Him, never getting tired or fatigued, breathless or weak. My strength will be restored but most importantly, I will be in constant fellowship amongst the saints and my Savior Jesus. Because He died, His gift of love to me, and rose again, I have eternal life. Life in heaven, free from sin, pain, and sorrow, will be infinitely more beautiful than the freshest, newest spring morning because He will make all things new. His miraculous resurrection conquered death and because He rose, I will one day rise again.

Happy and blessed Easter!!

Viv🌸

The Absolute Best

Let’s face it! We all want the best. The best car, the best phone, the best health (don’t I ever!) the best house, the best job, the best friends, the best life . . . .

God has already given His children the absolute best: JESUS!!

He is the best!! The best for our souls is already attained through our Lord Jesus Christ!! We’ve been given the absolute VERY BEST! Nothing comes close than salvation and growing a personal relationship with the best Advocate, Friend, Father, Savior, Redeemer, and Counselor we can ever have.

And the good news is, even if you lack having the best things in this lifetime it doesn’t matter. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, the absolute best and be amazed at how little and dim the things of this world become when you keep your gaze fixed upon the best Person you will ever know.

Much love,

Viv 💚🙏

The Word On Monday March 18 ðŸŒ¹

This verse pairs great with 1 John 1: 9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all righteousness.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

When my daughter and I rehearse our verses before bed, this is the second one we always say. I pray it helps her as it has me in life with pouring out our confession of sin before God and receiving the cleansing forgiveness that we so much need.

Much love and Happy Monday!

Viv 🤗

Her new swing from her “Papa”. 😀

His whisper to my heart…

If you ever feel worthless then remember this truth; You were worth dying for.

Much love,

Viv🤗

Romans 5:8 (KJV)

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.